Children’s Hospital Staff Refuse to Administer Prescribed Cannabis Oil Treatments

Staff at SickKids Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada refused to administer cannabis oil to an 11-year-old patient during his recent stay due to the policies of the hospital and the College of Nurses, according to a City News report.

Maria Niembro said that the oil is the only drug that stops and prevents her son Francesco’s seizures. The boy suffers from CFC syndrome — one of just 450 people in the world diagnosed with the condition.

“The hospital staff, the hospice care workers, they all tell me there is no policy in place,” Niembro said in the report. “They can’t administer it, even though it is legal, even though it is prescribed. They say they can’t do it. I ask why and they say ‘It’s political, the College of Nurses has to give the green light.’”

Niembro’s son used to suffer two to 10 seizures a day before he started cannabis oil therapies, now he sometimes goes days without one, his mother said.

In a statement, SickKids indicated that they have recently received approval from Health Canada for a clinical trial to “determine the safety and dosage of cannabinoid oil” for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, and supported the administration of the drug by the patient’s parent — but refused to comment on Niembro’s case directly.

“SickKids does not currently prescribe or administer cannabinoid oil as part of clinical care, as there are not enough high-quality studies about the safety and efficacy of its use in treating seizures in children,” the statement said.

The Ontario Ministry of Health said they are investigating the claims.

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